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FNR Hardwood - Persimmon

Purdue University


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Diospyros virginiana

Summary

Persimmon, or Diospyros virginiana, is mainly known for their fruit instead of their wood. Persimmon may be a hard and heavy wood, but it experiences a significant amount of shrinkage. Gold club heads have been made out of persimmon because of its excellent shock and wear resistance.

History

Persimmon has not been commonly used for many products due the amount of shrinkage it experiences, but turned objects and golf club heads have been made from the wood.

Color & Texture

The wood is semi-ring porous, and the grain appears similar to hickory, but with smaller pores. The trees are nearly all sapwood. The sapwood is creamy white when first cut but tends to develop oxidation stain and turns brown as seen in this panel. The small heartwood, or areas around knots and other wounds, are black. The species is a member of the ebony family, and some woodworkers use the black wood (when large enough) as a substitute.

Anatomical and Microscopy

Persimmon sanded face, image courtesy of The Wood Database
Image courtesy of https://www.wood-database.com/persimmon/
10x magnification of persimmon end grain, image courtesy of The Wood Database
Image courtesy of https://www.wood-database.com/persimmon/

Semi-ring-porous; medium-large earlywood pores sometimes form broken rows, latewood pores medium-small; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; growth rings usually distinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric, and banded (reticulate and marginal).

Wood Properties

Workability
Good for turned products. Good for hand tools and finishing. Difficult to plane.
Strength
One of the strongest hardwoods
Steam Bending
Not yet rated
Drying
Difficult to dry due to warping
Shrinkage
High shrinkage
Decay
Heartwood is rated as resistant to very resistant to decay

Products

Because of the woods high density and resistance to wear, it has been used in the past for spools, bobbins, billiard cues, golf club heads, etc.

Persimmon golf club, image by persimmon golf today
Image By http://persimmongolftoday.org/
Location Map for FNR Hardwood - Persimmon
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